Small-Batch Micro-Blog (100% GAI Free)

illusion of more

The Illusion of More blog was started in 2012 based on three interrelated premises: 1) that disinformation is toxic to democracy; 2) that Big Tech’s assault on copyright rights was both a disinformation campaign itself and a catalyst for more disinformation; and 3) that technology should serve humans and not the other way around. The difficulties posed by tech-enabled disinformation are more challenging today than they were twelve years ago, and to be sure, the myriad harms being done to basic reason cannot be remedied by copyright law.

Copyright cannot address the fact that Fox News amplifies utter gibberish about facts and law in the “hush money” trial. Copyright cannot address the findings by the Center for Countering Digital Hate that Facebook makes no distinction between Groups discussing concern about the war in Gaza and Groups hosted by antisemites advocating another Holocaust. Copyright does not address nonconsensual deepfake pornography or the many potential uses of generative artificial intelligence (GAI) to expand the fun-house labyrinth of cyberspace into a dizzying kaleidoscope of alternate realities.

To paraphrase the comedian Ron White, copyright can’t fix stupid. And unsurprisingly, Big Tech has shown that stupid is a multi-billion-dollar industry. To mitigate how arrogant that sounds, social media induces educated, thoughtful people to behave stupidly all the time, so it is little surprise that it whips the uneducated and not so thoughtful into a cacophony. And no, copyright law can’t fix any of that. It cannot resolve either the volume of misinformation or the profit motives of platform operators who nurture and thrive upon outrage and divisiveness. In fact, because copyright protects creative expression, it even protects utter gibberish the moment it is “fixed in a tangible medium.”  It’s a tough paradox to swallow.

In Article I Section 8 Paragraph 8 of the Constitution (often called the Progress Clause), the rights of “authors” maps to the word “science.” I discuss the meaning of the clause in my book, and I believe there is little doubt that the American framers viewed copyright much as they viewed the speech and press rights—as essential to fostering a more literate society that could debate the subtleties of its own lofty civics. If that dream has not been obliviated by social media toys, it is not for lack of trying by the toymakers.

Twelve years and about 1,000 articles ago, I started writing The Illusion of More wondering whether there would be much to say after the first few months. Today, the convergence of copyright assault and rampant misinformation (at the intersection of GAI) is complex to the point of dismaying. Nevertheless, thanks for reading this blog, and assuming I keep writing it, I promise to inform, amuse, provoke, or anger readers organically — 100% GAI Free.

If you have thoughts, I ‘d love to hear them. If you wish to support IOM, I have added a button for that purpose. Thanks for reading!

David Newhoff
David is an author, communications professional, and copyright advocate. After more than 20 years providing creative services and consulting in corporate communications, he shifted his attention to law and policy, beginning with advocacy of copyright and the value of creative professionals to America’s economy, core principles, and culture.

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